May 23, 2013
by Layne Herdt (Seminoles.com)-
The 2012 men's golf season ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Seminoles, losing to Kent State in a playoff for the final spot in the NCAA Match Play Championships.
"How close we were, being in that playoff," senior Chase Seiffert said. "And then the feeling of losing it just on that one hole kind of hurts, but motivates us and got us to work hard this year."
"It really hurt us, it stung all of us," sophomore Daniel Berger said. "Probably the seniors most of all because they didn't have another opportunity, but in golf you need to have a short memory and I've let that go out of my mind."
That moment may have been most painful for Doug Letson, who could only watch as his teammates played.
"It was hard leaving my team out there," senior Doug Letson said.
Letson was one of the team's top five players in 2012 and was supposed to be part of the NCAA Championship team until a freak weight room accident occurred a week before the tournament.
"I was with [Daniel] Berger and we were working out as a pair," Letson said. "And I ended up dropping the dumbbell and it kind of took a weird bounce off the ground and then pinned two of my fingers up against the ground and I broke two of my fingers."
"It was shock to be honest," Berger said. "At first we didn't think it was that bad, but an hour later they were black and blue so we kind of figured the worst and [Doug] made the trip to California, but wasn't able to play which probably hurt more than just not going at all."
Missing out last season has motivated the senior in 2013, his final shot of making the Championships.
"I think about it probably every morning before I go out to play or practice," Letson said. "It gets me in a good mindset and adds energy to me to know that I was so close last year, to come out and play even better this year."
When the Seminoles clinched their spot during last week's Tallahassee Regional, it was not just Letson who was thrilled to finally earn his chance.
"It means a lot," Seiffert said. "He's really excited and we're excited for him. We're going to have a good time this week."
"There's no better person than Doug on this team," Berger said. "He's there for us, he's a motivator, our team captain so for him to experience this like we did last year, it's an unbelievable experience and I think he's really going to enjoy it."
"It's huge," Letson said. "Ever since I got hurt last year it's all I've been thinking about is getting to this point and now we've got hear and I'm just really looking forward to going out there and play and contribute to the team and go out and compete."
Now the lefty looks to make the most out of his long awaited opportunity and help Florida State turn 2012's disappointment into 2013's magical memory.